Imperial Beach

July 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach Town Marker

Imperial Beach City Limits

    I was in Imperial Beach, California for the last three of the eight years I lived in San Diego. It was during that trio of years that I experienced the best and worst of my time out west. Best because I lived near the beach, had constant sunny weather and a thermometer that always read 72 degrees and worst because it was the place where I had to say goodbye to that San Diego weather.

Imperial Beach Apartment

My Apartment In Imperial Beach

    IB is the most southwesterly city in the United States so while I was there I had the Pacific Ocean on one side, Mexico behind me and Coronado in front of me. The two story building in the photo above is where I lived; my front door is right in the middle. I was facing south to take this photo so that is Tijuana, Mexico in the background while the setting sun and the beach are to the right. In the foreground is the southern edge of San Diego Bay, which is a protected wetlands and bird sanctuary, which is what I saw when I opened my front door.

Woman In Imperial Beach Sand

A Woman On The Beach

    On a bicycle, my place was five minutes from the beach and the endless Pacific Ocean. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and never got used to the winters so when I signed on to a four year hitch in the Navy and got stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii I became hooked on the weather, the beach, the ocean and travel. I sailed everywhere between Hawaii and the Persian Gulf during those four years and came to love the life of going places and seeing things. In particular, going places that were warm and seeing beaches with sapphire blue water.

Imperial Beach Pier People At Sunset

Imperial Beach Pier

    It took five years of living in La Mesa, in East County San Diego to realize I wasn’t close enough to the water so in 2011 I moved to the coastal town of Imperial Beach. After I moved there, I started traveling more, taking more photos and just generally enjoying life more than I had over the previous five years. I lived on San Diego Bay, I could walk to the beach and there was a farmers market on the pier every Friday. Life was good.

Imperial Beach Public Art

    Imperial Beach is a great place to live and I enjoyed my time there. It’s a beach town and a border town but it doesn’t have the crowds that would normally be associated with those things. I visited Border Field State Park, had dental work done in Tijuana and biked up to Coronado whenever I wanted. Even with a foreign country two miles to the south and glorious Coronado to the north, I usually found myself heading west, to the beach and the ocean. The photo above is the place where I would lock up my bike and start walking along the beach. The darkness behind the palm trees and the art sculpture is the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.

IB Forum Bar Imperial Beach

IB Forum Bar In Imperial Beach

    The photo above shows IB Forum, the most southwesterly bar in the continental United States. The art sculpture in the previous photo is just to the left and once again, Mexico is behind. This is a bar that I never set foot in. I’ve been drunk in enough foreign lands and American cities to last two lifetimes so adding more instances based solely on geographic location lost all appeal for me many years ago.

Imperial Beach Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree In Imperial Beach

    What is the point of this post? The catalyst was me going through old photos that I never published. The photos were a catalyst for me becoming nostalgic about living in Imperial Beach. This sentence is a catalyst for me to use the word catalyst in a way that has nothing to do with anything. I like taking and posting photos and I like writing about them so maybe it’s as simple as that. Maybe I miss living in Imperial Beach. Maybe I don’t know.

The Green Parasol

July 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Green Parasol Imperial Beach Pier

Green Parasol On Imperial Beach Pier

    A couple years ago I was photographing surfers in Imperial Beach, California when all of a sudden I saw a woman standing on the pier; she was holding a green parasol. This woman and the child she seemed to be in charge of were just enjoying a pleasant day on the beach. They looked like they were having fun so I decided to ditch the surfers and instead, follow these two around.

Green Parasol And Woman Imperial Beach Pier

Walking On IB Pier

    My original plan was to walk onto the pier and ask the lady if she would pose for some photos for me. It took a few minutes for me to get to the pier and walk out to where they were. Something happened in that interim because the lady was yelling at the kid and marching him off the pier. Ok, new plan; try to get some photos of this woman and her green parasol without getting yelled at myself. I don’t know why I wanted to but once I saw she had a green top on too, it just seemed like the natural thing to do.

Green Parasol Imperial Beach

Woman Walks Up Imperial Beach

    The ironic thing is that when they walked off the pier, they turned to the north and walked right past where I had been standing to begin with. Whatever the kid did earlier seemed to be forgotten as they continued walking towards Coronado. Anyway, this was a pleasant little diversion in a pleasant day that I wanted to share. Cheers!

Imperial Beach Pier At Sunset

November 7, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Sunset IB Pier Man Fishing

Fishing At Sunset On Imperial Beach Pier

    Imperial Beach is the most southwestern city in the continental United States. It’s pier juts out into the Pacific Ocean and is a great place to watch a sunset or do some fishing. There is even a seafood restaurant at the end of the pier so if you happen to get hungry, you’re covered. As a photographer, sunsets never get old even though they may seem to all be the same. To help keep sunset photos interesting it’s important to have something in the foreground to help convey the wonder that is happening on the horizon. It really is the foreground that keeps every sunset photo from looking the same. Think about it, if the frame only has the sun and the horizon there is nothing to give any scale or depth to the photo.

Imperial Beach Pier Sunset

The Edge Of Imperial Beach Pier At Sunset

    The photos for this post were taken one pleasant Monday evening a couple weeks ago. I am very fortunate to live in a place where I can ride my bike to the beach and enjoy a sunset on a pier. I know the ocean doesn’t draw everyone towards it but it definitely draws me. When you are on a beach in San Diego you can really feel how this is the edge of the continent and the edge of the United States. If you jump in a boat and head west from San Diego, you’ll have a journey of over 5,600 miles to reach Japan, the next significant land mass. My point is that it’s a great big world out there so enjoy it and photograph it, wherever you may happen to be. Cheers!

Murder Of Crows

November 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Murder of crows in flight

A Murder Of Crows In Flight

    I live in Imperial Beach, right next to the South Bay Marine Biological Study Area. That title is a fancy way of saying that there is a wildlife and bird sanctuary in IB. Bayshore Bikeway cuts through the area so it’s very easy to get up close and personal with the birds, the plants and the water of San Diego Bay.

    Lately, there has been a murder of crows that visits the area at sunset. They cause quite a racket but they keep to themselves as they forage for food at the southern edge of the bay. I’ve made a habit of watching them and the sunset every evening now and I must say that it is a nice bit of Zen to end the day. Cheers!

Dominion Concert At Teeple Park

October 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Dominion Lead Singer in Teeple Park

Lead Singer For Dominion

    I little over a week ago a flyer on my door said there was going to be a free concert at Teeple Park in Imperial Beach. The band playing was “Dominion” and they are the house band for The Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church. This was something of a guerrilla concert because within about 15 minutes the San Diego sheriff showed up and said they had to shut it down. The group had not obtained whatever permit is required to have a show in a park so they packed up & chatted with me for a bit. I’d like to point out that the sheriff was very cool about the situation and was polite. As the band packed up I had a great chat with John, the drummer of Dominion. We talked about religion and how it, along with Jesus Christ has helped members of their church improve their lives and build a better world. At the end of the day, in my opinion, you should be nice to everyone around you. If you are religious, don’t like religion, feel you’ve been saved by the word of God or think that science is the way to enlightenment you should still be nice to every single person you come into contact with.

    I was a person who didn’t understand the concept of, “you have to give in order to receive” until way too late in life. I just didn’t get it. I had thought about it from a financial point of view which really has nothing to do with it. I didn’t understand who giving someone money would get me something in return. A very good friend of mine explained to me that the way I was thinking about the whole thing was wrong and that he could prove it to me. He smiled at me. I smiled back. It’s just that easy.

John The Drummer For Dominion in Teeple Park

John The Drummer Speaks

    I am a big fan of live music so it was disappointing that the concert was shut down, however the ending of the show is what enabled me to have a great conversation with John, the drummer. He is pictured above right before he started chatting with me.

Dominion guitarist

PLaying Guitar For Dominion

    I fool around with the harmonica and I’ve taken up the guitar four or five times in the last 25 years but I am in no way a musician. It always amazing me that people are able to create and perform music as they do.

John The Drummer For Dominion in Teeple Park

John Drums

    So, my afternoon improved. I think that’s the main bullet point I’m trying to make here. I heard some good music, had a nice chat and was able to enjoy the San Diego weather. Not a bad way to wrap up an average day. Cheers!

San Diego Fireworks on July 4th 2013

July 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Coronado Bridge Fireworks 4th Of July 2013

Big Bay Boom Fireworks On July 4th 2013

    I’ve got to admit that the 4th of July and watching fireworks are my favorite things to do during summer. Comic-Con is fun and the stuff that goes on at the beach is also nice to see but fireworks, in my humble opinion offer the biggest bang for the buck. This year I was in California for the festivities, as I have been for six of the last eight fireworks shows I’ve attended. San Diego has their annual Big Bay Boom and after last year’s pyrotechnic malfunction, I was very ready to see a great show this year. I was south of Coronado, down in Imperial Beach for the show, not really on a photographic mission, just out to have a good time and perhaps take a few snapshots. That being said, I was all over the map with my camera settings, just having fun and taking hand held liberties that only photographers would find funny, or stupid. The photo above was shot at 1/4 second, 3200 ISO, 90mm.

Fireworks Crowd in Imperial Beach 4th of July 2013

Imperial Beach Residents Watch Fireworks

    I chose the extreme southern end of San Diego Bay for my vantage point, as did a group of other Imperial Beach residents. From this location we were all looking north, across the Coronado Bridge to see to fireworks that were exploding in the north end of the bay. We had the added bonus of seeing fireworks go off on the east side of the bay in Chula Vista. The marine layer had moved in so there was a great view of light hitting the clouds as well as reflections across the water. In the photo above you can see the crowd in the foreground, San Diego Bay fireworks in the background on the left and Chula Vista on the right. The shot details are 1/2 second, 3200 ISO, 8mm.

Fireworks Crowd in Imperial Beach 4th of July 2013

People Enjoying 2013 Big Bay Boom Fireworks

    As mentioned earlier, I wasn’t on a photographic mission, I was out to see the show and take a few snapshots. I had no tripod or gear other than my camera and lenses so technically speaking, I was traveling really light. I was using nothing but a steady hand to keep the camera steady. The above shot shows the crowd of people making a path for a bicyclist and was shot at 1/4 second, 3200 ISO, 55mm.

Big Bay Boom Fireworks in San Diego 2013

Slow Shutter Speed Fireworks

    The most important thing to remember in photography is to hold your camera steady. Above we see a shot where I must have sneezed as I took the photo. It was a 1/2 second exposure, ISO 3200 and 55mm focal length shot that while technically was a failure still looks kind of cool, right?

San Diego Fireworks 4th Of July 2013

Eight Seconds Of San Diego Fireworks

    Eventually, I decided to try some REALLY long exposures just to see how steady I could actually hold the camera. Above we see 8 seconds of exposure with an ISO of 200. In the previous shots I had been keeping the aperture wide open to be sure the foreground would get a little detail. For the shot above and the one below I closed it down to f-16 because I wanted only the fireworks to show up. The 8 second exposure with a wide open f-stop would have shown the fireworks as nothing more than a big blob of light.

San Diego Fireworks 4th Of July 2013

San Diego Big Bay Boom 2013 Fireworks

    That brings me to the end of one of the best and easiest 4th of July celebrations I’ve had in a long time. Being amongst the crowd on a cool San Diego night was a lot of fun for me. Trying to hold my camera steady for eight seconds at a time was also fun, as was seeing the highly artistic results. Above, the same firework pattern is shown twice thanks to the incidental movement of my camera during the eight second exposure. Cheers!

Imperial Beach SWAT Standoff

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

San Diego Sheriff and SWAT Vehicle in Imperial Beach

    Early this morning I got a text informing me that the San Diego Sheriff and a SWAT team were converging on a residence in my neighborhood, Imperial Beach. So, I checked out the scanner and found out that the location of the event was at 13th St. and Holly Ave., about 5 minutes away from my house. Awesome! I headed over there and started taking pictures.

    The entire area and Holly Ave. in particular were completely closed off. All the mainstream media was represented at 13th and Holly as well as at 14th and Holly but were all being kept a good half block away from the action. This prompted me to head 1 block south to Hemlock Ave., which was not blocked off so I could get a view of the actual apartment the suspect was holed up in.

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

San Diego SWAT Team in Imperial Beach

    After chatting up some residents of the street, one man allowed me entrance to an apartment that was on the second floor and looked right onto the porch of the apartment where the suspect was. I was a solid 300 feet closer than any of the other media outlets and since the apartment I was in as well as the apartment the suspect was in were both adjacent to each other AWAY from the street, I had the best view in town.

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

San Diego Sheriff and SWAT Prepare To Breach An Apartment

    The SWAT team did not seem to be worked up at all as they stood en masse on the porch of the apartment the suspect was in. Helicopters were constantly circling overhead so I was only able to hear snippets of what the SWAT guys were saying but what I did hear was normal conversation about guns, their wives and what they were going to do over the weekend.

San Diego Sheriff SWAT In Imperial Beach

SWAT in Imperial Beach

    I left before the suspect ultimately gave himself up, without a fight. I spent two hours on the scene and bailed about an hour before it ended. The two SWAT members you see above are the same two that you see in the video below. The apartment on the far left is where the suspect was. I was in the building the two SWAT guys are standing next to when I shot the video and photos for this post, with the obvious exception of the first one.

    Anyway, what is going to be a busy weekend for me started out with a bang so if nothing else, this thing got me all ramped up and ready to go. Cheers!

    

San Diego SWAT in Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach Has Spice

November 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach Syringe

A Syringe in Imperial Beach

    Woodward & Bernstein are names that resonate in America because the men behind those names are the men that broke the Watergate story in the early 1970’s. This is 2012 America so most people don’t know that Woodward & Bernstein is not an office of legal counsel or that Watergate is a not some sort of door that swings open and shut for running water. Come to think of it, most people in America probably can’t even define the word, “resonate.”

    I am not one of the people I’ve just described. I am VERY smart with a hyper-analytical brain. Technically that makes my brain abnormal, just like Albert Einstein, retarded folk & the creature from the film, “Young Frankenstein.” Abbey something. Abbey what? Abbey Normal.

    I live in Imperial Beach, which suffers from a lack of journalistic talent. There are no Woodwards or Bernsteins in South Bay San Diego. If the Coronado Bridge caught fire, reporters in Imperial Beach wouldn’t find out unless they read about it competing newspapers or saw photos of the event on my blog. A reporter in Imperial Beach wouldn’t know a good story even if someone broke into a hotel, stole classified papers & brought down a presidency for them. I’m just saying.

    There is a drug out there called, Spice, that has crippled Imperial Beach. You smoke it like weed, or so I’ve heard. Not that I care, but nobody seems to care. Anyone in a position to talk about it or stop it has been mute on the subject. I threw a bone to the powers that be and the powers that don’t, but there are no Woodwards or Bernsteins around to run with the information.

    I had taken it upon myself to create a nice, neat little package for anyone to look at. This package would contain details of the Spice trade and trade routes. That’s right; the Spice trade now is run just like the spice trade from 1000 years ago. Why? Because law enforcement of today knows FUCK ALL about how merchants from the Middle Ages operated. Get it? I’ll give you a hint… No phone calls, emails or texts. No FaceBook updates, Twitter posts or Skype teleconferences. No bank accounts, wire transfers or PayPal payments. There are only the people that produce & use Spice. There are no middlemen, no wasted steps.

    But nobody cares. So, Imperial Beach, the only photo in this post is a portrait of you, taken today with a junkie’s syringe on your face. The needle isn’t mine and yes, I know it wasn’t used to inject spice, but, finding this needle on Palm Ave was a catalyst for this post. Cheers!

Praying Mantis Prays For Me

October 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

praying-mantis-wings

Praying Mantis

    I live in Imperial Beach, in the extreme southwest corner of San Diego County. Wildlife abounds in IB because it is bordered by a wildlife preserve to the north, the Tijuana Estuary to the south & the Pacific Ocean to the west. Last week I finally saw a praying mantis, an insect I have NEVER seen in person before. I was very impressed with the amount of attention it paid to me as I took some photos. This guy or gal was very aware of me and was very reactive to my movements.

praying-mantis

Praying Mantis Looks Up At Me

    This praying mantis was fun to look at and to photograph. I resisted the urge to touch it, but I wanted to. The barbs on it’s grabbers look pretty wicked and since I wasn’t sure if touching it would cause it to fight or flee so I decided to concentrate on looking at the eyes. The eyes of this praying mantis have pupils that move around on the inside of the eyeball. Whatever the mechanics are, it was neat to see and be seen by something as cool as this.

praying-mantis-imperial-beach

Praying Mantis Asks, “What is right with the world?”

    One could imagine the sharp parts of this insect tearing through the exoskeleton of other insects with ease. When you look at the animal kingdom it’s very important to see what we have relative to our animal brethren; we don’t have sharp claws or teeth, we can’t fly and our vital organs are only protected by a thin layer of skin.

    We do have our brains which enables us to work together, to cooperate and make the world a better place. I recently watched a movie by Tom Shadyac called, “I Am” so I’m feeling a little bit mystical at the moment. If you’ve seen it you should understand where I’m at and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it, very highly.

Border Field State Park Has A New Fence

August 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

friendship-park-border-field-state-park

The New Fence At Border Field State Park

    Border Field State Park has a new fence, new facilities and a newly un-flooded Monument Road so I biked down there to check it out. Everything is new, that is for sure. The old border fence, from out in the Pacific Ocean and continuing to the east for a quarter mile or so has been replaced with what I would call a much more people proof fence. Friendship Park, the monument, the bi-national garden, everything is now entirely on the Mexican side of the border fence. There is still a secondary fence that prevents walking up to the actual border which is where I was standing when I took the photo above. The photo below was taken in January 2011 and in it you can see what the area looked like before.

Border Field State Park Fence

Friendship Park As Seen in January 2011

    The photos above and below were originally seen in my post, “Border Field State Park” in January 2011.

Border Field State Park Fence

The Monument – Splitting The Previous Fence

    The previous fence was physically split to accommodate the monument.

friendship-park monument border-field-state-park

Friendship Park Today

    Now, the land and apparently the monument itself have been ceded back to Mexico.

border-field-state-park-new-fence-into-the-ocean

International Border Meets Pacific Ocean

    Looking to the west you can see the new fence with a new top that will prevent the poles from shifting around every which way like they did before. Border Patrol agents are always around in the park and they are very friendly and helpful if you talk to them.

Border Field State Park Fence

Border Fence In January 2011

    When I made my first trip to Border Field State Park in January 2011 I tried to romanticize the trip with the photos whilst writing about actual thoughts; I found that to be very enjoyable. There is a great deal of Zen to be had in the arranging of one’s own photos and words.

international-border-fence-border-field

The Border – United States And Baja California, Mexico

    This trip I was there to see what was new and different so the fence, the area by the beach and the fence are what drew my attention.

border-field-state-park-rider-on-horseback

Horses Are Allowed At Border Field State Park

    There were twenty or so cars and a half dozen horse trailers in the park when I was there. The horses seemed to be having just as much fun as the people.

Border Field State Park Access Road

Monument Road – Flooded During 2011

    Monument Road is the road that in constantly flooded and this prevents access to the park by car most of the time. Above is the road as I encountered it back in May 2011 during my second trip to the park. The trees in the upper left of the photo are the same trees I was standing under while taking the photo below.

border-field-state-park-view-of-san-diego

The View From Border Field Picnic Area

    The view of San Diego, the border and the ocean really are amazing and the facilities are all functional. I drank from the water fountain and the water tasted clean and fresh. Vehicles are permitted into the park only on weekends but bikes, horses and pedestrians are welcome 7 days a week. Cheers!

Video From Border Field State Park

You Should Eat At House Burger

August 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

house-burger-menu

Front Counter , Grill and House Burger Menu

    House Burger is a new burger joint in South Bay San Diego that you should try because burger lovers need to support new ventures like this. Their address is 1873 Palm Ave. San Diego, CA 92154, on the southwest corner of Saturn Blvd and Palm. They have all the other types of burgers; chicken, steak, fish & turkey, with or without all of your normal toppings and a thousand island style house dressing. Any single patty meal is menu priced at $4.49 or less so even after tax it’s under $5. The burgers and fries are made when you order, so you will have a solid 5 minute wait. Oh, they have milkshakes too!

house-burger-san-diego

Inside House Burger

    So how’s the food? It’s good. The buns are custom and fresh, the meat is not frozen and you can basically build your burger, complete with toppings when you order. The cheese I go with is cheddar and it’s hearty. The fries are seasoned with a special house seasoning that does not include salt or pepper and the toasted buns while tasty, are too big for the burgers. All good stuff on the tray at half the price of any other gourmet burger place but the diameter of the burger needs to go up or the bun needs to shrink, as you can see in the photo above.

    This is of course a first world problem so for $5 you should try it out and judge for yourself because it’s still a smoking deal that has onion rings, potato, pasta and macaroni salad as options to fries and an entire cooler of sodas, coffee drinks and other bottled beverages to wash it down with. Head down there because you are hungry and your family loves burgers. Cheers!

A Photo Of Imperial Beach At Night

August 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Night time in Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach At Night

    One of the best things about photography is the way night affects photons as they crash into our film and sensors. I like what night does to me as I think about my shots and how light is scrounged from every available source. In the same way that our eyes take a second or two to adjust to a low light situation, our cameras need extra time as well, in the form of long shutter speed, forcing our hands to remain extra steady to preserve the focus of the nighttime realm.

    Last night a friend and I went on a midnight stroll. Food was what we were actually strolling for but it was the outright beauty of the night that turned out to be some rather delicious gravy. The moon was damn near full, the temperature was in the low 70’s and there was zero humidity. I live in San Diego, Cali-fuckin-fornia! The scattered midnight clouds you see above had probably been there since noon, doing there their god given jobs well; look pretty and keep San Diego cool.

    Imperial Beach is my actual town. It’s the most southwestern city in the continental United States. It’s a great place to live and the weather here is the best in all of San Diego. It is quintessentially awesome and it is basically the edge of the American dream. Just felt like sharing that. Cheers!

Coastal Wetlands Restoration In South Bay San Diego

August 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

    As I rode my bike along Bayshore Bikeway, examining the progress of the coastal restoration in the nature preserve that lies along the southern edge of Silver Strand between Imperial Beach and Coronado, I happened across the web of what I believe is a funnel weaver spider (Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae).  It was seated in a small hole in the side of a berm, its web spun out horizontally, waiting for lunch to be served.  I don’t have a problem with spiders; I just don’t like to be near them.  I also don’t have a macro lens; I just have a telephoto.  Convenient for me isn’t it?

Coastal Restoration & Dredging Begins

    There has been coastal restoration in the form of dredging going on for 5 months and just the other day the levees that separated San Diego Bay proper from the South Bay Biological Study Area were breached by the restoration team.  This means if you walk or ride along Bayshore Bikeway at the north end of 7th St. in Imperial Beach, all the water in the nature preserve will ebb and flow with the tides from fresh Pacific Ocean water!  I think it will probably turn the intersection of Imperial Beach and Silver Strand into a bird watching Mecca.

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

Spider Waiting For Lunch

    It was a bright, cloudless day but the arachnid was in a shaded burrow so I used the on-camera flash to light the spider up.  I had no idea that a spider’s eyes reflect light like cat eyes do but, they do.  All other members of a coastal wetland sanctuary food chain benefit from being in the sanctuary, not just the birds and not just the wetlands.

Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae

Funnel Weaver Spider

    That’s why, in a post where I’m talking about ocean water and birds there are spider pictures; they’re all connected and it was while walking around the preserve I found this spider, which lead to the train of thought that lead to the theme and tone of this post.  Deep isn’t it?

Sunrise Imperial Beach Bayshore Bikeway San Diego High Tide

Mouseover To See High & Low Tide before Restoration

    Move your mouse over the photo above to see the difference between high & low tide in the preserve before the restoration began.  If you want to see the amazing work that’s been done in the 5 months since the photos above were taken, you’ll just have to get on your bike, ride Bayshore Bikeway towards Imperial Beach and see for yourself. That blue stripe in the background is the Coronado Bridge which you can bike to using the trail.  Along the way you’ll pass the nature preserve, Silver Strand State Beach and Hotel Del Coronado.  See? If you are a lover of nature, biking, skating, running, the beach, hotels, Coronado or Imperial Beach, this outing has something for you.  Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can include photos when you blog about your fun time.  Cheers!

Imperial Beach Amputee

August 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach Amputee Woman With Amputated Arm

A Woman With An Amputated Arm

    Somewhere between acrotomophilia, sexual attraction to amputees and apotemnophilia, the desire to become an amputee, live people that like to collect and look at amputee photography.  I suppose I could have guessed there are specific names for those activities and loads of people that engage in them but, until I included the above photo of an Imperial Beach amputee in a blog post, never acknowledged any of it.

    The photo above was taken by me and posted with my Imperial Beach 4th of July Fireworks article.  The woman and her amputated arm grabbed my attention for a number of reasons; her leathery beach skin, her green star sheriff tattoo or her wild dress by themselves were cause enough to snap a photo, but it was the way her amputated arm contrasted with her other good arm that made it gold for me.  I cropped her legs at the knees to enhance the amputated feel of the photo.

    This morning, a month and a half later, I posted my amputee photo on Twitpic and then tweeted about it, trying to give it some new life because even though I like the photo, I did feel it was out of place in the 4th of July post.  In the course of doing this, I found my photo on a Flickr stream that seems to be for people that like to look at, feel sexually attracted to or want to become an amputee.  My photo has hit the acrotomophilia & apotemnophilia big time! Cheers!

Imperial Beach Fireworks on 4th of July 2011

July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Flower Shaped Fireworks on IB Pier on 4th Of July 2011

Flower Shaped Fireworks On Imperial Beach Pier

        Imperial Beach hosted a gigantic fireworks display, launching fireworks off their pier for 2011 4th of July Independence Day celebrations and guess what? That’s a 7 minute bike ride from my house! I’m serious; my total commute time was a mere 30 minutes (because I made two trips) while automobile traffic was a parking lot nightmare. Getting out of Imperial Beach and Coronado; the entire Silver Strand looked like a cross between a drive-in movie parking lot and a Taco Bell drive-thru line at 2am. What is the lesson to be learned here? Next year, if you go to Imperial Beach or Coronado to see the fireworks on the 4th of July, ride your bike!

People Enjoying the Sun at Imperial Beach On 4th of July 2011

People At Imperial Beach On The 4th of July 2011

        Most people start arriving during the day, and even though it’s more crowded than usual, it’s never out of hand. In the photo above you can see people patiently waiting for darkness and fireworks as well as being issued a ticket for having alcohol on the beach.

Imperial Beach Woman With Amputated Arm

IB Woman With Amputated Arm

        The lady above is always around Imperial Beach pier and was enjoying the live music when a phone call interrupted her. I snapped this shot because the way she’s holding her phone, her white wrist wrap and the color of her fingers matching her hair did a trick of the eye on me, making me think she was a double amputee. The tattoo on her right arm is a classic frontier star with the word, “SHERIFF” in the center.

Fireworks staged on IB pier

Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky

        IB pier was gated off by the time I arrived due to the large amount of pyrotechnic booty that had been carefully placed about. Sunset was to happen exactly at 8pm and the show at 9. This is where the magic was going to happen, this is where we can all say, “Boom goes the dynamite.”

First Fireworks On July 4 2011 off Imperial Beach Pier

Fireworks Smoke Imperial Beach Pier July 4 2011

        During summer it’s not exactly dark at 9pm, so the opening barrage of fireworks had nice wisps of clouds behind them. The opening volley of fireworks is where you’ll find some golden moments of photography because during the explosion of the first set is the ONLY time you’ll have a smoke free sky, so you can actually include the sky in the background of your fireworks shot. As you see in the photos above, smoke becomes a problem very fast. The pic on the left was shot at 3200 ISO & the right at 1250 ISO.

Fireworks Imperial Beach Pier 4th of July 2011

American Flag Shirt at 4th of July Fireworks IB Pier

        I didn’t have a tripod so I had to find a combination of ISO and f-stop that would work with my self-imposed handheld photography shutter speed limit of 1/20th of a second. The f-stop turned out to be easy, wide open! For the lens I had that meant f/3.5. I wanted to include a lot of foreground/people in my photos so my ISO was determined by the lighting of the foreground; I cranked it up high, from 1600 to 3200 if the foreground was dark or dropped it to 200 if there was already ambient light around, such as those taken with people seated under lights. Whatever my ISO was, my shutter speed was always slow, 1/20th of a second or slower so I made sure to stand still, hold my breath and press the shutter release button with a surgeon’s delicate touch for each & every frame. What that did was keep my own personal movement and the movement of the camera to a minimum. These are the problems that I have to compensate for by not using a tripod. I sacrificed stability in favor of mobility since I was going to spend the entire 16 minute show running around.

Imperial Beach Portwood Pier Plaza Sign and Fireworks on July 4 2011

Imperial Beach Portwood Pier Plaza Sign

        The photo you see above is the main sign at the foot of the pier, in the center of Imperial Beach’s Seacoast District and is an example of planning ahead in order to get ahead. I knew the show would last 16 minutes, so I made sure I was near the Imperial Beach sign at the 16th minute for two reasons: First, because I wanted shots of the sign silhouetted by the fireworks and second, because from that spot I was already off the beach and the pier. In other words it made for a great shot and a great escape! Cheers!

July 4, 2011 At Imperial Beach, CA Pier

Powwow By The Sea

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Imperial Beach – Powwow By The Sea

        Imperial Beach is hosting a Native American “Powwow by the Sea” this weekend at IB pier plaza. I happened to catch the beginning, which was a grand entrance of all the dancers rhythmically making their way into the circle. This event enables the local population of Native American Indians to honor their ancestors by spending the weekend dressing, eating, worshiping and thinking as their cultural ancestors did.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Color Guard Leads Things Off At IB Pier Plaza

        It was a very colorful entrance as the Powwow officially got underway. The steady beat of the drums always seems to go perfectly with whatever is going on.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Native American Dancer

        There are so many things to do in San Diego County and now that summer is in full swing we remember the weather is one of the best reasons for living here. You know that every activity you have planned for the summer will work out because in San Diego, it never rains on a parade and all summer long, the temperature is in the 70’s or 80’s at any time of the day or night.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Capturing Motion

        For those of you wondering about my photographic technique, I very much wanted to capture and portray a powerful sense of movement in the photos, so I shot mostly at 1/60th & 1/90th of a second and made sure to hold the camera still.

Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky

        Later on today, they’re having another powwow at the same place, Imperial Beach Pier Plaza that will last until around dusk. There are also many food vendors and people selling all manner of items & enlightening everyone about all things Native American. There are enough food vendors and local restaurants that you might as well arrive hungry. Start out with some fry bread, some sweet, delicious fry bread. After that you’re on your own, but I will recommend that you save $2 so you can wrap up your visit to IB pier with a single scoop of ice cream on a plain cone at Cowabunga Ice Cream Shop. Below is a video montage from the powwow with one of their songs as the soundtrack. Cheers!

Video Of Imperial Beach Powwow By The Sea

Smuggler’s Gulch In Border Field State Park

June 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

smuggler's-gulch-border-field-state-park

Looking South At Smuggler’s Gulch

        Smuggler’s Gulch, in Border Field State Park, is a small canyon that rests a little more than a mile east of the Pacific Ocean between the border of Mexico and The United States of America. Prior to 2005, it was famous for being an area where illegal aliens and smugglers could easily cross the border into America. Natural geography has most of San Diego County’s international border perched along high ridges or bordering hills and mountains, but flow from the Tijuana River and its tributaries formed a small canyon which people used as a natural pass to smuggle just about anything through. Smuggler’s Gulch was deep enough that Border Patrol radios didn’t work and it was so dangerous that Border Patrol agents were required to patrol the area in teams of at least two.

Smuggler's Gulch in Border Field State Park

Smuggler’s Gulch Culvert

        Smuggler’s Gulch became famous after 2005 when congress, under the Bush Administration gave The Department of Homeland Security the authority to waive any and all environmental laws, litigations and lawsuits so DHS could build a giant earthen dam across the gulch, on top of which would be built a restricted access paved road, stadium lighting and a new section of border fence. Things like this really are an agitation for our nation and it really galvanized America because it forces people to pick sides that are not representative of who we are as a country or as individuals.

Smuggler's Gulch Border Field State Park

America As Seen From Smuggler’s Gulch

        The issues of immigration, environmentalism, border security and racism are all included in this thing which sucks because we are never allowed to position ourselves on the middle ground with things like this; we are only allowed to be for it or against it. The absence of the middle ground means that people in favor of (for example) the new border wall will be perceived as environment hating racists while those opposed are seen as activists that place environmental well being above a person’s, unless that person is entering the US from Mexico illegally.

Smuggler's Gulch Border Field State Park

Looking North From Smuggler’s Gulch

        This narrow dialogue makes people think about only one thing and turns people into single issue voters, which are just about the worst kind of voter there is. You know the type, they’re the ones that ONLY want to know one thing about you and that one thing is your position on the latest hot button issue and whether or not your view is in alignment with theirs.

Smuggler’s Gulch Earthen Levy & Mosquito Larvae

        So, take all of these issues and emotions, shake them up and a giant earthen levy across a natural flowing canyon is what you get, at least this time. The same ingredients never make the same thing twice which is probably why it takes so damn long to get anything done in this country. Anyway, the video above shows the area of Smuggler’s Gulch in Border Field State Park and all the mosquito larvae that live in the stagnant water in front of it. Cheers!

DUI Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

May 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

DUI Sobriety Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

San Diego Sheriff At DUI Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

        In the continuing effort to keep the streets of Imperial Beach safe and free of drunk drivers, the San Diego Sheriff had a sobriety checkpoint set up at 7th St & Palm Ave last night. I suppose you can say that Memorial Day weekend officially kicks of Friday night, so this checkpoint was well timed and positioned to remind motorists not to get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking. Try to remember that these peace officers operate these checkpoints not only to nail intoxicated drivers, but to nail people driving without or under a suspended license. Think of it as a way of keeping honest people honest. If you don’t drink & drive and your license is valid then you have nothing to worry about.

Imperial Beach Sobriety DUI Checkpoint

Vehicle Passes Through IB Sobriety Checkpoint

        According to the news release posted on the San Diego Sheriff’s website, 692 vehicles went through the checkpoint, 35 vehicles were sent through secondary screening, 11 field sobriety tests were given, 7 vehicles were impounded and 4 people were arrested for DUI. The checkpoint began actual operation at 8:15pm, not at 7:30pm as stated in the press release.

Memorial Weekend Sobriety Checkpoint In Imperial Beach

Sobriety (DUI) Checkpoint On Palm Ave In Imperial Beach

        The checkpoint seemed to be a well oiled machine and all the law enforcement personnel were in a good mood. The methodology for the checkpoint was very similar to the way rides at amusement parks are loaded up. Cars were waved forward, twelve at a time to a waiting line of twelve officers, so all cars in the line get checked for compliance simultaneously. Once all the officers were done, the cars get waved through and another twelve cars took their place. Since the checkpoint was stationed on Palm Ave. between the stoplights at 9th St. and 13th St. the flow of traffic was very well regulated and caused delays no worse than having to endure an extra stoplight. Kudos to the San Diego Sheriff!

Mickie’s Bar & Grill Honors Maxine Cummings

May 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Mickie's Bar & Grill Maxine Cummings Memorial Balloons

Balloons In Honor Of Maxine Cumming At Mickie’s Bar & Grill

        Maxine “Mickie” Cummings passed away on April 16, 2011 so, to honor her, an all day musical celebration was held at her joint, Mickie’s Bar & Grill. I spent some time there, watching Teagan Taylor Trio play and talking with people. The bar is at 2nd & Palm Ave. in Imperial Beach, an easy bike ride for me, I cruise past it every time I go to the beach but I had never been inside until today. It turned out to be a great bar with lots of room, a pool table a patio and 2 full bars. Mickie liked jazz so that’s what was played in the background as new and old friends came together to remember Mickie, and there was no better placed than the very bar she had owned since 1982.

Judith Jeannotte At Mickie's Bar & Grill

Judith Jeannotte Talks About The Finer Things

        The bar actually reached capacity by around 3 o’clock, which I found out when I tried to get back in after stepping outside to use my phone. The dude let me back in but I was very surprised that a bar in Imperial Beach was at capacity on a Saturday afternoon. Mickie was a much loved woman and the steady flow of people that streamed in all day is testament to that. She has some great friends and Mickie’s had some great people. Everyone I talked with was friendly and out to have a good time which is something we all need right now.

mickies-bar-maxine-cummings-memorial

Eileen And Virginia At Mickie’s Bar & Grill

        This turned out to be a great Saturday afternoon in Imperial Beach, but I really didn’t plan it that way. I had other things on my agenda but they all fell by the wayside once I started meeting and talking with people. Eileen and Virginia, seen above are two of the people I met that made the event a success and helped everyone to have a good time. Mickie’s Bar & Grill in Imperial Beach, give it try, it’s only two blocks from the beach so it would be a great place to start and/or finish a trip to IB. Cheers!

Border Field State Park In Summer

May 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Bikini Girl Border Field State Park Beach Fence

Border Field State Park Fence

        The last time I went to Border Field State Park was in January, in the dead of San Diego’s winter and there were hardly any people, on either side of the border. This ultimately set the tone for that post as somewhat morose and unpatriotic. This trip, three months later was right on the cusp of summer, so there were more people around, mostly on the Mexican side enjoying southern California’s most southern beach. Enjoying the beach and the sights across the border is really only half the fun. Finding and navigating through Border Field State Park are adventures in and of themselves, so that’s what this post is all about. By the time you finish up with this post you’ll be an expert ready to have some fun in the sun and make the most of your trip to Imperial Beach and Border Field State Park.

Border Field State Park No Trespassing Signs

No Trespassing Signs On Monument Road

        The road and signage on the way to the park is not exactly user friendly, and the website for Border Field State Park is not any better. In a nutshell, you’ll be heading west on Monument Road, passing signs like what you see above all along the way. Don’t let the signs or their somewhat garbled message fool you because as you see these signs and trailheads on the south edge of Monument Road you can rest assured that as long as you park your car when you head out, you will be OK. I’m not saying to ignore the signs, I’m clarifying to you that you can walk or ride a horse all over the park.

Border Field State Park Entrance Gate

Border Field State Park Entrance Gate

        If you chose to continue west on Monument Road, you will eventually arrive at the proper entrance to Border Field State Park at 1500 Monument Road, which is what we see above. The vantage point for this photo is facing west, with the Pacific Ocean exactly 1 mile to the west, straight ahead. The closed gates you see are almost always closed because the paved road that leads to the beach area of the park is almost always flooded. Even if the road wasn’t flooded, the gates would only be open on weekends anyway, so this is where experience takes over because most people see this, assume the entire park is closed, turn around and go home. This is where you’ll drop off your car to roam the park whether or not the gates are closed, as long as it’s during the operating hours of the park.

Border Field State Park Access Road

Flooded Monument Road

        Here is the secret to enjoying a random or planned trip to Border Field State Park: Bring a bicycle or a horse for everyone in your group. The flooded road you see above is the reason for the entrance gate being closed most of the time, as well as the mosquito problem Imperial Beach suffers from every summer. This photo was taken by me in late April and will probably replace the whale in my nightmares because every inch of this standing water held MILLIONS of mosquito larvae that will no doubt be swarming over Imperial Beach in a couple months.

        Anyway, park your car at the entrance gate and then jump on your bike, your horse or put on your walking shoes and head west. From the parking lot you have to go west for 1 mile, turn left at the ocean and head south for another half mile to get to the border fence. Bring a bike; you might me fine with walking to the beach, but by the end of the day you’ll be begging for some form of personal transportation.

Border Field State Park Fence

Border Field State Park Secondary Fence

        After you park at the entrance to Border Field State Park, head west and then turn left (south) at the Pacific Ocean, you will have about a half mile trek to the actual border between Mexico and America. The photo above is presented to help you out on your trip to the park. When I took the photo above I was facing east and the Pacific Ocean was lapping at my heels. The fence you see on the left, heading towards me represents the border for American citizens while the other fence in the center leads to Friendship Circle. The famous border fence that is shown in the first photo of this post is out of sight, just to the right. The area between the actual border and the fence above as well as Friendship Circle are government property that American people have “no right” to be on, even though we are a government of, by and for the people. Don’t walk past this fence or Border Patrol agents will have a talk with you. I’ve received a talking to twice, even though I crossed this plane only once.

Border Patrol Vehicle On Monument Mesa Border Field State Park

Border Patrol Vehicle At Border Field State Park

        Monument Mesa is the area on the border, above the beach and that is where the photo above was taken. Just to the right of the photo is Friendship Circle. Border Patrol agents are everywhere around here, which makes Border Field State Park very unique because there are no park rangers in this park. Border Patrol agents monitor our borders by questioning, arresting and detaining people. Park rangers help ensure visitors to said park have a good time. Border Patrol agents run this park, see what I mean? Don’t be afraid of them, just be aware that you’ll see them and they may let you know not to approach the primary fence.

Border Field State Park Beach Horses Border Patrol Agent

Horses And Border Patrol At Border Field State Park

        That being said, just make sure you don’t approach the actual border fence. As long as you don’t do that, you’ll be all right. Border Field State Park is the only place in San Diego you can ride horses along the beach, so if you are an equestrian, I would take advantage of that. Above we are looking north from the border, with horseback riders and at least one Border Patrol Agent looking on. You can see the beach is deserted, so don’t be afraid to walk around, even with Border Patrol agents staring at you.

Mexicans At Border Field State Park Fence

People Waving Through Border Field State Park Fence

        This brings me around to my conclusion, more or less. Border Field State Park is fun if you know when, what and where to assimilate what all the signs are telling you. Don’t come within 40 feet of the actual border and make sure to bring a bicycle. Border Patrol will do their job, Mexicans will try to talk to you through the border fence and people like me will try to take photos without being accused of terrorism. Saying it like that sounds bad but it’s the truth and I hope it will help you enjoy your time at Border Field State Park. Please be sure to look at my photos from my last trip to Border Field State Park earlier this year. Cheers!

Leopard Sharks & Guitar Fish Around Imperial Beach Pier

May 4, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Leopard Shark Caught On Imperial Beach Pier

        Recently I came across an article, or maybe it was a photo-essay in IB Patch about fishermen on the Imperial Beach pier. After reading the article, my first thought was; what a boring, poorly photographed article. There was no action, no substance and no grit, just people standing on the IB pier with fishing rods & reels. I felt I could do better, so I headed down to IB pier to check out the action.

imperial-beach-pier-fishing-sharks

Guitar Fish On Imperial Beach

        As I walked onto Imperial Beach pier, there was a fisherman that had a guitar fish on his line. The shark was much too heavy to reel 30 feet onto the pier so the angler had his friend hold the rod so he could go down to the beach to unhook and then release the shark, with everyone looking on.

Guitar Fish On Imperial Beach

Guitar Fish Held Over Imperial Beach

        There is something very ugly about pulling life from the ocean for nothing more than sport. We are the only species that allows something as weird as “catch and release.” Just imagine there was a restaurant where, if you take a bite of food you’ll get dragged away from the table, pulled under the nearest body of water, photographed and then thrown back onto land. Do you think any human would tolerate that?

Guitar Fish Held Over Imperial Beach

Guitar Fish Have Eyes & Feelings Too

        The guitar fish you see above was a victim of some guy just having fun. I see eyes, a mouth, gills and a body so that tells me this shark can see, eat, breathe and feel. It’s very hard for me to watch people hurt animals in situations like what you see above and not do anything about it. If you want to be cruel and unusual, you get a free pass if you do it to any form of aquatic life, unless you do it in front of me. I’m just letting you know.

Guitar Fish On Imperial Beach

Guitar Fish About To Be Thrown Back Into The Pacific Ocean

        I know there was never a point in history when it all of a sudden became OK to use this planet and other life forms on it like a commodity or as a form of recreation. What I do not know is if there will ever be a point in time when it’s not OK to do that anymore. Think about this… It’s illegal to physically harm another human (unless you’re a cop) and sometimes it’s even illegal to say hurtful words to another human. Why is it then we can do unto others what we don’t allow to be done to ourselves?

Leopard Shark On IB Imperial Beach Pier

Leopard Shark On Imperial Beach Pier

        Above is a small leopard shark, caught while fishing off Imperial Beach pier. Sharks are one of those survivors that outlived the dinosaurs and hopefully will outlive us as well. Our amazing intellect allows us to buy everything we need at Wal-Mart to end a shark’s life while that same intellect turns a blind eye towards what we are actually doing. Anyway, a crappy article with crappy photographs, along with a sunny San Diego day is what led me to the beach, the fishermen of Imperial Beach pier and this introspective article. I suppose it’s just one more example of the weird way things just work out.

Sharks Swarming Around Imperial Beach Pier

        In the video above you’ll see the photos from this post as well as footage of dozens of sharks swimming around Imperial Beach pier. As you’ll see in the video, the sharks were everywhere, looking for food so the fisherman took advantage by merely dipping their lines in the sea below the pier. Standing on a pier holding a length of mono-filament line with food in front of hungry sea animals is a sport? OK, sure.

Imperial Beach Farmers Market

April 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach farmers market flowers

People Looking At Flowers At Imperial Beach Farmers Market

        After wrapping up my third trip to the Imperial Beach Farmers Market, I’m ready to talk about it and post some photographs from my time spent there. The farmers market happens every Friday on Seacoast Dr. at the edge of the Imperial Beach Pier from 2pm – 7:30pm. The vendors at the farmers market are ever changing, which makes for both good and bad things. A good thing was that last week I had an amazing chorizo, potato and cheese tamale with jalapeño cream sauce… The bad thing was that the tamale selling vendor wasn’t around this week. That is the ever present rub with markets like this; it’s lighting in a bottle one week, amazing tamales the next and avocados on special the week after that. If you are at Imperial Beach Farmers Market and see something you want to eat or take home with you then you best buy it right then & there because next week it might not be there.

Imperial Beach farmers market people

Girls At Imperial Beach Farmers Market

        Imperial Beach Farmers Market is not big; you can walk through it in less than five minutes if you don’t stop to smell the roses. Realistically, you’ll need to spend about 20 minutes in the market, looking at what vendors are selling, tasting samples and just chatting with people. This is one of those uber-friendly events where sauntering, meandering and slow conversations are the norm so don’t be afraid to smile at or talk to anyone at the market.

Imperial Beach farmers market man

A Lurking Man At IB Farmers Market

        This market is not an outdoor version of your grocery store’s produce aisle; this is a gathering of people at the most southwestern beach in the United States with the common goals of buying & selling locally grown & created products. What does that mean to the layperson? Imperial Beach Farmers Market is a place to hang out and to see and be seen while eating some great local food, not necessarily in that order. The man above is a guy I see by the IB pier all the time, just watching people go by. Why is he here? I’ll tell you why; the wild women and the rippin’ & the tearin’.

Imperial Beach Pier

Girls On The Imperial Beach Pier

        Imperial Beach (IB) pier is the centerline thoroughfare for the farmers market, so if you go to the market, you should walk west, to the end of IB pier because it is the western most point of the continental United States. The women above were returning from this geographic Valhalla when I took this picture.

Imperial Beach Farmers Market Kermit Brown

Kermit “Froggy” Brown – Wagon Man At IB Farmers Market

        Kermit “Froggy” Brown is a disabled veteran that makes daily trips, back and forth (east to west) along Palm Ave. in an electric wheelchair. I’ve seen him on the news and all over Imperial Beach so it was really no surprise to find him at the farmers market with his wagons in tow, holding a munched on corn on the cob. This is a great farmers market!

Bayshore Bikeway Scenery

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

california-least-terns-in-san-diego-bay

Least Tern Nesting Area In Coronado

        As you may agree as you scroll through this post, I think it’s one of the more erratic and disorganized collection of photographs I’ve presented. Believe it or not there is a method to this madness and a common trait all the photos in this post share: They were all taken on the same day while riding my bike from Chula Vista to Coronado on Bayshore Bikeway.

marbled-godwit-tern-on-coronado-bayshore-bikeway

Marbled Godwits & Tern

        Since I’m not really a bird person, trying to figure out what species of bird I’m photographing can be quite the challenge at times, even with internet search engines.

white-egret-in-San-Diego-Bay

White Egret In San Diego Bay

        The white egret you see above was hunting for fish at the extreme southwestern edge of San Diego Bay. As near as I can tell, the fish he likes to eat hang out in the mud at the bottom of the bay. The egrets use their feet to shuffle and shake fish from the mud and gobble them up.

wedding-in-coronado-church

A Wedding About To Begin In Coronado

        The photo above was made just as I departed Bayshore Bikeway, heading to Burger Lounge in Coronado. In a tradition that goes way back, a father walks his daughter down the aisle to get married, two or three years prior to her first divorce.

little-girl-on-silver-strand-beach-coronado

Little Girl On Silver Strand Beach State Park

        Of course, just because the majority of marriages end in divorce is no reason not to bring a kid into the world. The most in-charge and powerful position most Americans will hold is that of parent. So what if your boss is dumber than you or you didn’t get all the respect you wanted from the person that sold you your cappuccino this morning? As soon as you get home, it’s YOUR house and YOUR rules, which is the mantra of middle class parents. We all know you didn’t go to college, have no savings or retirement plans, are pissed off about not getting that big promotion at work and wish you would have learned to play the guitar because if you had, listening to your kid complain about whatever kids complain about wouldn’t suck like it does. But you didn’t. You’re just getting by & life didn’t turn out the way you want so you have kids & now you can lord over them with impunity, just like the rest of the world is doing to you.

imperial-beach-street-art-television-family-ufo-heads

Street Art On The Ground Of Bayshore Bikeway

        For me, the difference between street art and graffiti has everything to do with location and subject matter. Using a spray can to scribble on the side of a building in the dead of night to declare what south of the border, shithole village you’re from or what shithole neighborhood you live in now, is graffiti. Using your imagination to create something unique & original that people will stop to look at, talk about or take photos of is street art, like what you see above.

yellow-flowers-San-Diego-bayshore-bikeway

Yellow Flowers Adorn Bayshore Bikeway

        Right now, San Diego is in the midst of our annual yellow flower invasion. Through most of April, on just about every square inch of non-landscaped earth you will see yellow flowers.

death-memorial-on-bayshore-bikeway-San-Diego

old woman on Bayshore Bikeway

        The photo on the left is a somewhat hidden memorial for a person named, Donnie. This memorial is against the fence that separates South Bay Salt Works from Bayshore Bikeway. It lies just about due south of the salt works, down the north slope of the path. That’s as specific as I’m going to get, that way you’ll have to work for it a little bit if you’d like to see it in person. Above is an old lady that just happened to be cruising past me. So that’s it! This concludes my post of random things I saw while riding my bike through Coronado, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista on Bayshore Bikeway. If you have not yet explored this path, I hope the photos in the post will encourage you to do so. Below is a video that goes along with the photos in this post, as well as some video of birds and the hidden memorial. Cheers!

Double Rainbow Over Coronado

April 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Double Rainbow Over Coronado and Dinosaur Cage

Double Rainbow Over The Dinosaur Cage Of Coronado

        If you want to see a rainbow, if you want to try to plant yourself somewhere ahead of time because you heard there would be favorable rainbow conditions in a certain given area, make sure your vantage point lies directly between the sun and where you think the rainbow will be. Close your eyes and draw a circle. When you see a rainbow, it lies on a point somewhere along the line of your circle; you are standing in the center, facing the rainbow so the sun will be the point on the circle that lies directly behind you. Open your eyes. Is that too much geometry? If it is, then how about this: After morning showers, rainbows will appear in the west while afternoon showers will have rainbows in the east. If you still don’t get it, then how about this: After it rains, go outside, face away from the sun and you might see a rainbow.

Double Rainbow Over Coronado and Dinosaur Cage

Rainbows Over Coronado As Seen From Imperial Beach

        In the photos you can see my shadow pointing west, directly at the top of the rainbow. Behind me, to the east are Imperial Beach and the rising sun. This layout is always the same so think about that after a rainstorm and you will be able to get some great photos. The only thing that has to happen is for a storm to roll by in the early morning or late afternoon, then dissipate enough for the sun to shine through but not break up enough that there’s not enough water in the atmosphere to refract enough light to form the rainbow. That’s it. If all that happens at a time you have your camera you will be richly rewarded.

Double Rainbow Over Coronado and Dinosaur Cage

Double Rainbow Over Bayshore Bikeway, Imperial Beach & Coronado

        The video below is comprised of stills and video shot with my Nikon D5000 from the north end of 7th Ave. in Imperial Beach, CA. I’m standing near the North end of 7th Ave., while looking at the Dinosaur Cage on Coronado, which sits just south of Silver Strand Beach State Park.

Dredging Imperial Beach South Bay Biological Study Area

March 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

tornado-motion-dredge-south-bay-san-diego

Dredging The Southern Edge Of San Diego Bay

        There’s been an odd looking dredging machine out in South Bay Biological Study Area for the last few weeks. An odd looking machine with a weird way of dragging and anchoring itself along the shallow water with four metal stilts. They don’t seem to be removing anything, just dredging and pumping it out through a hose on the back of the vessel.

man-on-boat-south-bay-san-diego

men-on-boat-in-south-bay-san-diego

Checking the Bottom After Dredging

        The workers above were criss-crossing behind the dredging machine in their small boat. The boat seemed to be outfitted with a laptop and some type of sonar.

Sunset In Imperial Beach

March 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Imperial Beach Sunset

Imperial Beach Sunset

        San Diego Bay is a great place to be during golden hour and sunset. The colors and the view just can’t be beat and talk about a made to order photo-op! All the photos for this post were taken at the southern edge of the Bayshore Bikeway in Imperial Beach.

Long Shadow During Golden Hour Sunset Imperial Beach

The Long Shadow Goodnight

        For those of you that don’t know, “golden hour” are those final minutes before a sunset or after a sunrise. The sun is very low, right above the horizon so the light from the sun has to travel through many more miles of our polluted atmosphere which helps to give our nearest star’s light a very warm, yellow hue. One of the biggest not-so-secret secrets of landscape photography is to take your shots during golden hour. A word of warning though, golden hour does not actually last for an hour, it only lasts for about ten minutes so you’ll want to plan ahead.

Women Walking Dog At Sunset In Imperial Beach

Looking East From Imperial Beach

        Bayshore Bikeway is a very popular bike path with pedestrians and every sort of non-car conveyance. As you can see from this map of San Diego bike paths, including Bayshore Bikeway, it circles most of San Diego Bay, with the circle being completed if you decide to take the ferry between downtown San Diego and Coronado.

San Diego Bay Skyline Golden Hour Sunset

San Diego Skyline, Coronado Bridge & A Seagull During Golden Hour

        Those of you that work in a cubicle in an office under fluorescent lights for forty hours a week need to pay attention to these next sentences: Your job is killing you, your boss is dumber & richer than you and your family doesn’t respect you because you are a human parodic example of some one that has given up on their dreams. In short, the world around you knows you are doing something you hate for money, just like a whore. Your family knows you are being paid money to wake up before sunrise and drive through traffic just so your boss and any of his colleagues can fuck you in the ass, balls deep.

A Little San Diego Night Photography

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Imperial Beach And San Diego South Bay At Night

San Diego’s South Bay At Night

        It seems to me that I’ve been ignoring the night lately, so I’m going to change that, slowly but surely. For my fellow photographers, both photos in this post are 30 second exposures at f/8, ISO 200.

Imperial Beach And San Diego Southbay At Night

Front Porch With A View Of Downtown & San Diego Bay

        Both photos above are from the front porch of a lucky person that lives, literally at the very edge of San Diego bay. The view is looking north, with downtown San Diego glowing in the background.

Plumber Welds Copper Pipe, Replaces Kitchen Sink, Tub & Shower Fixtures

February 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Plumber Solders Shower Fixture Bath Tub Spout

Plumber Solders Copper Pipe For New Bath Tub Spout

        I recently spent about 5 hours assisting a plumber replace my kitchen sink as well as the fixtures in the shower and bathtub. Both faucets were leaking, which is something that is just not tolerated out here in San Diego. We are nestled right between the best are in California and the largest desert in the country so we are very aware of what is going on with our water.

Plumber Under Sink Replaces Kitchen Faucet

The Kitchen Faucet Gets A Makeover

        Now my place is drip-free, sporting shiny new fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen. The video below shows the plumber soldering copper pipe for the new bath tub spout ans some other highlights of the experience. Cheers!

San Diego High Tide

February 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunrise Imperial Beach Bayshore Bikeway San Diego High Tide

Mouseover Image To See High & Low Tide Difference

        A couple weeks ago I read an article in IB Patch that said San Diego would have a “king tide.” The tide definitely came in! Mouseover either of the photos in this post to see the HUGE difference the tide makes in shaping our landscape.

High Tide Sunrise In San Diego Bay

Low Tide In South San Diego Bay

        The low tide pics were taken about a month ago while the high tide pics were taken in the last couple days. For all four photos the vantage point is the southern edge of San Diego Bay, looking north while standing on the Bayshore Bikeway.

The Parable Of Seagulls Fighting

February 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Seagull Discovers Peanut Butter

Once Upon A Time A Seagull Found Some Peanut Butter In A Plastic Container

        The tale of this post happened right in front of me in Imperial Beach today. In a nutshell, there was a seagull that found a plastic peanut butter & crackers container and while trying to get at what was left of the peanut butter, attracted the attention of his fellow birds. A struggle ensued and the original owner ultimately lost his prize.

Seagulls Fighting Over Peanut Butter

Trouble Started For The Seagull Right Away

        I saw this episode as a metaphor for something. I’m not quite sure what to call it, but it’s one of those lessons or instances where the person (or bird) that gets what he wants ends up with more than he bargained for.

Seagulls Fighting Over Peanut Butter

Outnumbered And On The Defensive

        Basically, you have one bird that has something, so all the other birds want it now too. What none of the birds know is that whoever gets the prize will probably die. They are all fighting over something that will kill them, just because of the perceived value that ownership has given this certain something.

Seagulls Fighting Over Peanut Butter

And Now We See It Is Just A Parable

        It’s right about at this point, right about when the original owner of the highly sought after yet deadly prize looses the peanut butter that we can see this is a parable. Remember the Merrie Melodies cartoon “One Froggy Evening” where the construction worker finds a singing frog? That’s what happened right in front of me with these seagulls. I thought I was looking at the beginning, middle and end of a story but I wasn’t… I was looking at something much bigger.

Seagulls Fighting Over Peanut Butter

And The Story Repeats Itself

        What I saw as the end of my seagull story was merely the beginning of another, identical story for some one else, and so on and so on. Aside from the “don’t litter” undertones here, I think there is another lesson to be learned, a lesson that has to do with perception and point of view and things like that. I can’t quite put it into words, but I’m sure it’s there.

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